This Saturday, March 22 is World Water Day, and the Council of Canadians is calling on prime ministerial hopefuls to stand up for water. The Council mailed information packages about the threats facing our water to Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair, and asked them what action they will take on fracking, extreme energy projects in the Great Lakes, drinking water in Indigenous communities and environmental legislation and funding.
“With World Water Day on Saturday, we hope Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mulcair will make their positions clear on these pressing water issues,” said Emma Lui, water campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “We have a federal election next year, and people across the country want to know how our next prime minister plans to protect our water sources. The Harper government has decimated safeguards for our drinking water. People want to know that our next prime minister will roll back what Harper has done and take bold action to address new and long-standing water issues.”
The Council sent three reports, including Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow’s new report Liquid Pipeline: Extreme energy’s threat to the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, A Fractivist’s Toolkit: How you can take action to protect water and stop fracking and the water chapter of the 2014 Alternative Federal Budget, Striking A Better Balance.
The letter warns: “There are few things more important than clean, safe water, but gutted environmental legislation, damaging and polluting industries, and inadequate funding are putting our water sources at risk.” In the letter, Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party, and Thomas Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party, are asked four questions:
- Will you place a ban on fracking to protect the water sources of Canadian and Indigenous communities?
- How will you protect the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway from extreme energy projects?
- Will you develop a National Water Policy that implements the human right to water and sanitation and invests the $4.7 billion needed for water and wastewater infrastructure in First Nation communities?
- Will you roll back the changes the Harper government made to environmental legislation and recommit funds needed for water research?
The Council requested a response by Earth Day on April 22 pointing out it is “a timely date to tell Canadian and Indigenous communities how you will protect their water sources.”
www.canadians.org/water | Twitter: @CouncilOfCDNs